Completed: A French Terry Lola Dress

11 Dec

Good morning, everyone! I guess I’m back to posting about sewing things… it was a nice hiatus, anyway! I had a lovely vacation, a very relaxing weekend at home, and now working on a new big sewing project (a coat for Landon!). In the meantime, I have a small backlog of projects that I’ve been meaning to post, so obviously I will start with the most recent one first, because it is my most favoritest.

French Terry Lola Dress


Y’all remember the Lola sweatshirt dress, right? Gah, sometimes I feel like – with the influx of new patterns coming out at such a rapid pace (which is not necessarily a bad thing – but it can get overwhelming at times!), we forget about the really good ones that are just a little bit older. And by older – sometimes that’s as “old” as a few months! So I’ve made it a point to re-visit some of my favorites and make them up in new fabrics. I mean, they’re a favorite for a reason, yeah? πŸ™‚ (but don’t worry – I’ll obviously still sew up new releases as well because, ooh, new and shiny!).

Anyway, Lola was always one of my favorites! A really fun and flattering twist on the sweatshirt – here’s a princess-seamed sweatshirt dress! I’ve made this pattern twice before (see: one and two), so I knew it was a winner. Side note: While version 1 gets worn aaaallll the time (love that dress!), version 2 is gone. The cheap fabric I used meant that the dress was constantly pilling and just looked old and shitty, so I removed it from my house. So that’s that. Also, wow, I sort of almost miss having brown hair now.

French Terry Lola Dress

French Terry Lola Dress

Since I’ve already made this pattern before, this was a very quick and satisfying sew. I sewed up the size 2, and then made further adjustments to get the fitted/streamlined look you see here. I started by using 5/8″ seam allowances (the pattern calls for 3/8″, but I’m a little bit smaller than the smallest measurements so this helped with sizing down a little), and then took in the waist another 1/2″ or so at every seam. Speaking of which, I really ought to adjust my pattern pieces for this shit because I go through this damn trying on/adjusting/trying on/adjusting rigamarole EVERY DAMN TIME I make this dress! Maybe that should be my New Year’s resolution – adjust my pattern pieces when I do fitting changes haha. That would save me a lot of trouble.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re making this pattern – if you want to adjust the fit at the waist, try on the dress before you attach the skirt. From there, you can pinch out the princess seams to get the fit you like (just remember to do the same to the skirt pieces so the seams match up!), but be careful not to overfit, as this really isn’t that type of dress.

Other changes I made to the pattern: I lengthened the sleeves to full-length (and redrafted the cuff piece accordingly), left off the hem band (and sewed a deep 2″ hem), and left off the pockets. Actually, those are the same changes I made to my last 2 dress. Whateverrr!

Also, wtf is going on with my hair in the last picture? And why do I look so… disgruntled?

French Terry Lola Dress

The fabric that I used for this dress is pretty fabulous! I’ve mentioned before that I get fabric from Elizabeth Suzann’s wholesale orders (ah, the perks of working in sewing!) – that’s where this stuff came from. It’s French Terry, and it came with MATCHING RIB KNIT, which I used for the neckline and cuffs. The right side of the French Terry is a smooth knit with defined stitches, and the wrong side has the most beautiful, plush loops that make this shit SO FUCKING COZY. We use it at Elizabeth Suzann to make sweaters and sweater dresses – although there, we sew the fabric wrong-side out because it looks so cool (see the Billie Sweater). For me, though, I wanted my dress to be warm and cozy – so the loops stayed to the inside. Funny, after sewing all those sweaters – this side looks rather plain πŸ™‚ It is, however, easier to see the cool seaming details this way, so that’s good!

Sewing this fabric was fine, if not a little messy (French Terry will shed like NO OTHER, so I would really hesitate to sew this without a serger – you need some way to finish the seams). Because the fabric is so thick, my serger had some difficulties at first with stitch tension – everything was super wavy. I just upped the differential feed to the max and tweaked the stitch size, and that spaced out the stitches enough so that the seams lie flat. Speaking of which, pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever had to tinker with the settings on my serger. For the most part, it does everything automatically without my input (it’s a BabyLock Imagine, in case you were curious. The queen of sergers!).

French Terry Lola Dress

French Terry Lola Dress

Sorry these pictures are kind of crappy/all over the place. I guess I’m out of habit at this point, ha!

French Terry Lola Dress

Here’s an accidental picture that really showcases the fabric! I used the wrong side for the little sweatshirt V. And check out that ribbing! Love it when it matches πŸ˜€

French Terry Lola Dress

I guess that’s it! Really glad to have another cozy winter dress to add to my arsenal – and this one is pretty freaking cozy (while still being cute!).

One last thing – ChatterBlossom (one of my sponsors + an all-around gorgeous gal) is currently having a holiday sale! Use the code LLADYBIRD15 for 15% off your purchase, good through 12/15 (so, soon!). Whether you need a last-minute gift for someone – or for yourself (I always buy myself Christmas gifts, because I always ALWAYS get myself the best presents! Such as this necklace, ahem) – definitely check her out! I love Jamie’s stuff, and the detail in some of the pieces (such as this elephant or this mosquito) is INSANE. Actually, that’s a ChatterBlossom piece I’m wearing in these photos – the navy anchor button πŸ™‚ Love it!


32 Responses to “Completed: A French Terry Lola Dress”

  1. suzanne December 11, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Lovely! I loved the way you altered the original, and even made adjustments over the three dresses. I’m putting this on my list, because it looks so comfy, yet not frumpy.

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      Comfy without the frump is the best part of this dress! It’s like wearing a really fancy sweatshirt haha πŸ™‚

  2. Ami December 11, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Ah I need this dress right now- it looks so insanely comfy and cosy!!!

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

      It is PERFECT for this weather! The coziest dress ever πŸ˜€

  3. emcclure2010 December 11, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    This is one of those patterns I have been lusting after for ages and somehow haven’t purchased yet. I made a sweatshirt Laurel which is comfy but not quite the same. I have asked for Lola for Christmas so crossing fingers!! Otherwise I will break down and gift myself. πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

      I totally hear ya – I have patterns like that myself that I’ve never got around to buying. Hope you get it for Christmas – if not, I’d say that’s a perfect excuse for buying your own Christmas prezzie πŸ˜€

  4. ThreadTime December 11, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    You seem to make me fall in love with patterns that I really don’t like on paper. (This being one of them…sorry, Lola.) This dress looks fantastic on you. Makes me want to give it a try.

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Its a great pattern! I don’t care much for the envelope photos, but I love how it looks when it’s slimmed down a bit πŸ™‚

  5. Amanda December 11, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    I keep thinking about this pattern as a nice alternative to the cinched waist patterns I tend to make. Looks so cozy on you!

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Oh man, it’s the besttt alternative! loved cinched waists, but nothing beats having a bit of room for expansion – especially during the holiday season haha πŸ˜›

  6. Kelly December 11, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    I’m still jealous of your ability to get your hands on French terry! I bought Lola after seeing your first version…have I made it yet…er….I blame the lack of being able to get French terry πŸ˜‰ this one looks fab as well! And you do look so different with brown hair!

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      Wellll, it works pretty well with sweatshirt knit, too πŸ™‚ But yeah, French Terry rules! I ain’t even apologizing for my big stash of it hahaha!

  7. magpi December 11, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    I needed to see this one again. I’m trying to ‘refine my style’ – whatever that means – and ’empire waist + pockets’ are two of my parameters. Your fit was a better sell than the packaging model photo, which wasn’t fit+flare enough to catch my eye.

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      Yeah, I don’t care much for the envelope photo either. This is why I love the internet – easy to see how other people make it up, which might sway your decision πŸ™‚

  8. weefrills December 11, 2014 at 11:25 am #


  9. tworandomwords December 11, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    Like ThreadTime, I haven’t been enamored with this pattern, but that does look like a darned cozy dress for winter.Of course it’s almost full summer here so hopefully I’ll remember once it starts getting colder!

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

      Or you could start sewing a season ahead πŸ˜› Haha kidding – I wouldn’t do that either!

  10. Kim December 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    Great dress! I love the adjustments that you’ve made, really give it a flattering silhouette.. Loved reading your trip recap too, shame I couldn’t make it to Paris..

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      I know! I would have loved to see you again! Oh well, maybe next time πŸ™‚

  11. Beth B. December 11, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    I’ve made 3 Lolas and I’m wearing one today! I ended up making two patterns, one for less stretchy sweatshirt fleece and one for fabrics like French terry and interlock, since I kept taking it in with stretchier fabrics. If you have any old RTW sweatshirts laying around, it can be a great pattern for upcycling because you can reuse the ribbing and do fun color blocking!

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      Oh, that’s such a good idea to make two patterns! I only wish I was that dedicated/organized haha. Good tip on upcycling old sweatshirts – I did that with my first Lola (well, it was a sweater – but same difference) and I really like how the ribbing looks with the sweatshirt fleece πŸ™‚

  12. Rochelle New December 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    That is the most chic sweatshirt dress I’ve ever seen!! I didn’t notice the princess seams and all the nice shaping from the picture on their website, but I’m pretty much sold on the dress now after seeing yours. Love it!

    • LLADYBIRD December 11, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      Yeah, its a deceivingly cute pattern – those photos don’t really do it justice πŸ™‚

  13. gingerthreads December 12, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    I like the dress… but I LOVE those boots!

    • LLADYBIRD December 12, 2014 at 8:42 am #

      Haha thank you! They’re Lauren Conrad; they say my name on the inside and everything πŸ˜› haha!

  14. Heather Lou December 12, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    I was always a little hem on this pattern because I hated the band at thebottom but it’s AWESOME with that deep hem!

  15. Tomasa December 13, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    Love your dress! It looks so comfy cozy. Thanks for the tips regarding the serger adjustments for this fabric.

  16. KMS (@andnowlights) December 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    Hi Lauren! I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I love reading it! Also, I’m a fellow Nashvillian. Just wanted to let you know that I saw you at Publix this afternoon (in the tuna aisle!) and was way too chicken to say anything, but I love your blog and your hair. I’m trying to get myself back into sewing but we live in Midtown and there’s no where to set up shop permenently.

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2014 at 7:47 am #

      Aw! I wish you would have said something! We pretty much never go to that Publix – we’re Whole Food’ers, but the thought of Green Hills traffic on a Sunday afternoon was making me ill, so we decided to change things up a bit πŸ™‚ I love how that worked out, though! πŸ™‚ Next time, you should say something! I would love to meet you πŸ™‚

      Also, as a former resident of Midtown – I feel your pain on the space issue, but MAN, isn’t Midtown such a great area!? I miss it so much!

  17. susan January 26, 2015 at 2:59 am #

    Stunning dress and it suits you!
    So glad I found your blog – I like the way you write


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